Balance for Better – The Same For All
Today is International Women’s Day and the campaign theme is #balanceforbetter and a call for a more gender balanced world.
Whilst we have made so much progress when it comes to gender equality, the campaign to true equity can never stop until we have achieved this – and we have a long way to go.
I have seen so much great content this week around this topic, I couldn’t let the moment pass without setting out to me what gender equality means to me in the business world.
Gender equality means equal access to career opportunities. It means equal pay and no gender pay gap. It means challenging any kind of culture in which a woman OR a man may feel intimidated or objectified and changing that. It means equal panels at events where there are always as many women speaking as men, as well as a diverse delegate mix. It means more women in leadership, relatable women who the next generation can aspire to. It means not stereotyping males or females into jobs and roles. It means being mindful of the language we use and the comments we make, including ‘harmless banter’. It means flexible working for both women AND men to be able to juggle commitments around childcare.
And on that note, I strongly believe we cannot have gender equality in the workplace until we truly achieve this at home as well. In a modern world with mortgages and the cost of living sky high, the majority of families are co-working families. Yet in how many of those families is the woman still automatically picked as the primary carer? School life for me is a hotbed of gender inequality. Mums are automatically added to the class WhatsApp groups for endless noise about parties, PE kits and assemblies. Mums are recruited for the PTFAs. Women it seems automatically default to take on children’s social lives, school lives, extra-curricular activities. Even in the case of a father with a more flexible job – and I do know many – these responsibilities will get automatically assigned to a full-time or part-time working woman. We urgently need more representation by men in all these things.
And by the same token I guess I should pledge as a woman to understand the household finances more, to learn how to use a power drill (#danger), to do tip trips and to take on more of the motorway driving, all of which I conveniently assign to my husband in line with his gender. And be a true role model to young girls when it comes to showing that we, as females can access all the opportunities and achieve on equal levels to men.
Because to achieve true gender equality and #balanceforbetter, it means everyone working on a local level to effect change and in every situation to think: is this fair and is this equal? And if not, how can I make it better?
Not forgetting the essence of International Women’s Day as well, this is a day to celebrate the achievements of women. Personally, it is a day I would like to formally recognise the many amazing women who have played a role in my professional life in the legal industry, from managers who have taught me so much about the business and the legal marketing world, to mentors who have inspired me and helped me grow, to colleagues I have enjoyed working with so much, to my network who motivate me and encourage me to role models I aspire to: we should be saying this to each other EVERY day, but we are ALL wonder women.
Join in the action around IWD today and amplify the #BalanceforBetter message on social media by striking a pose, taking a photo and writing your pledge around #BalanceforBetter.